For most of the 17th century some combination of England, France, Spain, and Holland were at war with one another. Who was at war with whom, and who was allied changed seemingly at the drop of a hat. When looking at the history of that era, war seems to have been the end and not the means. Often these wars and alliances spilled over into the western hemisphere, both in North America and in the Caribbean. This was sometimes very confusing for the parties involved, as the enemy you just attacked is likely to be your friend next week. As anyone who has studied both history and gaming can tell you, those are the perfect conditions for a campaign.
With such a long time period to cover, how does one narrow down the focus? As I get older, I realize that every time I run a game just might be the last time I ever run that game. If I am only going to get one more shot at an Earthbound pirate campaign, then I have to look to my favorite source material: the movie The Black Swan. The one based on the book by Rafael Sabatini, not the one with the lesbian ballerinas. Although... No. Stay focused. I mean this one:
|"Yes, my dear. All the combs in the Caribbean are on that|
ship. Prepare to Board!"
|I think they just recycled this ensemble |
from his role in Zorro. Shame he did
not keep the mask.
The movie takes place after peace is declared and one of the most successful English pirates, Henry Morgan, returns to Jamaica as governor with a mandate to clear the seas of his pirate pals. Tyrone Power plays Jamie Waring, Morgan's right hand Captain who runs afoul of the pirates who were his former friends. Waring has to deal with English noblemen in league with the pirates, rivals for the hand of Maureen O'Hara, privateers who are convinced he is still a pirate, and the actual pirates themselves. Sadly, he is also forced to wear this unfortunate outfit when he tries to go legit. Tyrone's only real defeat in the movie seems to have come at the hands of the costumer. Mercifully, he quickly loses the hat and cape.
|I cannot imagine Henry Morgan looking |
like anyone other than Laird Cregar.